Our 2012 conversation with Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear.
This Tuesday, lawmakers in Washington heard from an 18-year-old who, against all odds, got his shots. Ethan Lindenberger, who fought with his own mother to get vaccinated, told senators, "for my mother, her love, affection, and care as a parent was used to push an agenda to create a false distress."
That "anti-vaxx" agenda, the dangerous legacy of a thoroughly debunked 1998 study in the British medical journal Lancet, was dealt yet another devastating — though not mortal — blow this week, courtesy of epidemiologists from Denmark’s Staten Serum Institute. Their new study, which included more than 650,000 children, found that the MMR vaccine did not raise the risk of developing autism.
And yet, even in the face of study after study, and even as websites like Pinterest have moved to stamp out the spread of anti-vaxx materials on their websites, the debunked vaccine-autism link and its impact on public health live on. In this 2012 interview, Brooke spoke with Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear, about why these myths persist.
But nothing on the embedded versions:
A screengrab of what this looks like for those that don’t want to be “infected” by the algorithmic act of visiting these YouTube pages:
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Amber Gorrow is afraid to leave her house with her infant son because she lives at the epicenter of Washington state’s worst measles outbreak in more than two decades. Born eight weeks ago, Leon is too young to get his first measles shot, putting him at risk for the highly contagious respiratory virus, which can be fatal in small children.
In some sense I do appreciate the sophistication of Bill Gates’ science communication here though as I suspect that far more Westerners are his audience and a much larger proportion of them are uninformed anti-vaxxers who might latch onto the idea of vaccine-derived polio cases as further evidence for their worldview of not vaccinating their own children and thereby increasing heath risk in the United States.
Cases caused by viruses derived from the vaccine are a growing worry
Simple math shows how widespread vaccination can disrupt the exponential spread of disease and prevent epidemics.
The benefits of vaccines far outweigh the minuscule risks, but some parents still question their safety. John Oliver discusses why some people may still feel uncertainty about childhood vaccinations.
It also not coincidentally is the root of the vast majority of the problems the world is currently facing. There are so many great quotes here, I can’t pick a favorite, so I’ll highlight the same one Kimb Quark did that brought my attention to it: